Heterocycle-containing cyclic peptides are promising scaffolds for the pharmaceutical industry but their chemical synthesis is very challenging. A new universal method has been devised to prepare these compounds by using a set of engineered marine-derived enzymes and substrates obtained from a family of ribosomally produced and post-translationally modified peptides called the cyanobactins. The substrate precursor peptide is engineered to have a non-native protease cleavage site that can be rapidly cleaved. The other enzymes used are heterocyclases that convert Cys or Cys/Ser/Thr into their corresponding azolines. A macrocycle is formed using a macrocyclase enzyme, followed by oxidation of the azolines to azoles with a specific oxidase. The work is exemplified by the production of 17 macrocycles containing 6-9 residues representing 11 out of the 20 canonical amino acids.
- cyclic peptides
- ribosomal peptides